Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jean Shepherd lives!

No one that listened to Jean "Shep" Sheppard will ever forget him. His career spanned decades and included tours on WOR-AM, KYW-AM, WLW-AM. He died in October of 1999. But he lives on at a single Class-D radio station in Dudley, Massachusetts. they transmit from the campus of Nichols College.At a barely audible 14 watts, 95.1 WXRB run real rock n' roll 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Today these are considered oldies, but it's not your uptight Jones Network sat-fed oldies format. The WXRB playlist is possibly three-times as deep, and focused on the first 25 years of rock n' roll. I'll admit now that it's automated, but in a very conscious and deliberate way somewhat reminiscent of WRKO's "arko-matic" system. On their own website they say the following:
"WXRB-FM showcases Rock & Roll's FIRST 25 years, to preserve its' place in mainstream America and to bring these special songs to a new generation of listeners, to young and old alike. We're a totally NON-COMMERCIAL EDUCATIONAL FM station, dedicated to keeping this special music alive and available for everyone to enjoy."
But back to Jean Shepard. Every Sunday evening at 11:00 PM DJ Max Schmid hosts the program "Mass Backwards"featuring the voice of the deceased Jean Shepherd. What great shtick for a tribute station dedicated to the love of an era... including one of the DJs, nto just the music. Mass Backwards actually comes out of WBAI in New York.